Fun Trips around Madrid


Cercedilla

Cercedilla is a mountainside municipality Northwest of Madrid. It is about an hour train ride away with the cercanía trains from Atocha (the main train station).

The mountainside is filled with nature, flowers, and there is a small ranch with a herd of cows living their best lives grazing on the mountainside. The cows have cowbells with different pitched tones, so it sounds like a song when you get close to the ranch. It is an absolutely beautiful hike, and the trailhead is quite close to the train station.

Another advantage of this hike is that when you gain elevation, it cools off, so it was especially pleasant to enjoy the mountain air.

La Rosaleda del Retiro

Parque del Retiro is a huge park in the middle of Madrid. I’m only showing one small part of this famous park. It is constantly filled with events and fun activities. The walking trails throughout the park connect to a wide pedestrian highway that brings you to each corner of Retiro.

Alongside this pedestrian highway, you can find the Rosaleda. It is a huge rose garden filled with various types of roses from all over the world. In the springtime all the flowers are in bloom, and the smell of roses fills the entire park.

Make sure to take advantage of this massive park. There is so much to discover here.

El Escorial

El Escorial is another town outside of Madrid that can be reached with the cercanía trains. It is about an hour long trip from Atocha. It is just a bit southwest of Cercedilla. El escorial is famous for the Royal Site of San Lorenzo de El Escorial. It is a historical royal palace and monastery. This massive building contains ancient books in their royal library, classic, historic art pieces, beautiful architecture, and royal burial vaults.

Outside of the building, you can find the royal gardens and enjoy the scenic mountainside town. If you are feeling extra adventurous, you can take a 3 hour hike to the Valley of the Fallen. It is an infamous monument that used to be the burial site of Dictator Francisco Franco.

Toledo

Just a 45 minute bus trip southwest of Madrid, you can find Toledo. Toledo is an ancient city built on top of a large hill. This city is absolutely filled with history, and it feels like you’re walking through a medieval set when touring it. For just 11 euros, you can purchase a bracelet that gives you access to every synagogue, mosque, and church (with exception to the large cathedral in the center).

It is so interesting to see how all these religions and histories mix. The countless religious sites and museums can help show the city’s extensive cultural, religious, and monumental heritage. Upon arrival you can clearly see how the city was built like a fortress, and every group that conquered this city has left its own mark.


I am barely scratching the surface of all the interesting trips and experiences you can have in Madrid. There are countless unique towns surrounding the area, and with the abundant access to public transit, it is cheap and convenient to make these day trips. I highly recommend getting out and enjoying all that Madrid and the surrounding region has to offer.

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